A Facebook message to a friend in Africa

Samoan churches rise to the occasion with lively choral input

Hello. my friend. You come to mind this morning, as the early summer sunlight in Scotland wakes me up (sunrise is 4.33am) and I wander over to my notes for a sermon (Isaiah 55) as Environmental Chaplain. You come to mind as I recall the shock I felt when you prophetically quoted Desmond Tutu at the CWM ( Council for World Mission: global church family) Assembly in American Samoa in 2012: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” .. though I think you put it a bit more strongly than that. I spoke up as a descendent of the culture responsible. Looking for a constructive way forward , and we became friends. That’s where humanity is with the Earth. The outcome of human injustice – often directed in the first instance at other humans – is the devastation of Creation, and yet we depend on the life of the Earth. And the Earth depends on our wise prearedness to intervene, engage and sometimes leave well alone with the processes of that life. We are part of that web. Emnity with Creation, or even penitential disengagment is not an option: we need partnership and reconciliation, acknowledging fully and openly what has been amiss in the way humanity has exploited and abused fellow creatures . And finding, as God’s gift, by God’s grace, a joy and encouragement to sustain us in healing. So this very early morning, I’m thanking God for the challenge through your speech. And that, through the technology that links us, though lives diverge, we can read and ‘like’ what we each write, as friends in Christ.

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